Today Mia Freedman crossed the line. She wrote a piece which was so inflammatory it was shameful. Of course she’s in the business of creating discussion. There’d be no point in writing columns for your website without causing controversy because, let’s face it, you wouldn’t get any hits and revenue would suffer.
I have a lot of respect for Mia. She’s worked darn hard to build her brand. She gives many women voices. She provides a platform to discuss issues pertinent to women which are often ignored by mainstream media. I believe she gets an unfair share of vitriol. However, I do not always agree with her, in fact I often disagree with her. We come from different lives, different perspectives. That’s cool. The world would be a boring place if we all agreed all of the time. But I do not think she is stupid, nor ignorant. So, today when she wrote this article – “The Boy Who Cried ‘Racist'” I was disappointed in her, to say the least. She took one step too far.
This column was offensive on so many levels. Blackface is racist. Full stop. There’s no excuses for it. There’s no excuses for condoning it or retweeting it. To say someone “cried racist” is abhorrent. And here’s what I want to take aim at – I believe Mia knows all of that. I believe Mia wrote that entire column because she knew it would cause an uproar. I wouldn’t be surprised if she hasn’t already written her tearful apology as well as commissioned a prominent member of Australia’s indigenous community to write a thoughtful piece about why racism is still entrenched in our modern culture – because it is. Maybe she’s even got a re-education campaign, to run alongside a paid advertising campaign, ready to go. Maybe not, but she wouldn’t have got to where she is without strategising.
She wrote this with controversy in mind. She took what is a very serious issue and put dollar signs in front of it. Controversy gets website hits. Website hits increases advertising revenue.
C’mon Mia, whether you like or not you have a responsibility to encourage equality and understanding, not incite and fuel ignorance.
You can do better.
Ps: Please don’t use the comment section on this blog post to turn this space into a nasty “Mia Hate Campaign”. I just had to say something on this one.